4,000+ Residents Join Torres on El Niño Tele-Town Hall

November 18, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday evening, Rep. Norma J. Torres (D-Pomona) hosted a Telephone Town Hall for constituents with representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on preparing for El Niño.  It was the latest in a series of outreach efforts to help Inland Empire residents get ready, including an El Niño Preparedness Seminar in Chino and a comprehensive online resources page.


“Ultimately, we can never be a hundred percent sure what the weather is going to bring, but we can do everything we can to make sure we’re prepared,” said Torres.  “The news lately has been full of stories about a Godzilla El Niño and worst case scenarios.  I hope that events like last night’s call will help residents stay well-informed and aware of what steps they need to take to protect their home and family.”


Joining Torres on the call was Roger Pierce, Meteorologist-in-Charge of NOAA’s National Weather Service Office in San Diego, the primary forecast office for the region, who discussed the science behind this weather phenomenon as well as when and how Southern California will be impacted.  He was joined by Benigno “Bern” Ruiz, FEMA’s Federal Coordinating Officer and chair of FEMA’s El Niño Task Force, who talked about emergency preparedness and the flood insurance program. 


Listeners had the opportunity to ask questions of the guest experts and Congresswoman Torres throughout the call.  They also took part in two brief polls on flood insurance and preparedness which revealed that 40 percent of participants still weren’t sure if they had flood insurance or if they would be purchasing it, and 50 percent had not yet started to prepare their homes for El Niño.


“When I lost my home in a fire, I never thought it would happen to me, so emergency preparedness is an issue that’s especially important to me,” continued Torres.  “I know how busy families can get, so the Telephone Town Hall is one more way residents can get the information they need.”


A total of 4,209 residents of the 35th congressional district joined the call, which was the latest in Torres’s efforts to make sure area residents are prepared for the potential impacts of El Niño.  She also previously hosted an El Niño Preparedness Seminar at the Chino Police Department with representatives from local and federal agencies, and constituents can visit torres.house.gov/elnino for a constantly updated list of resources.